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A legacy grown in community

April 9, 2024

Bob and Paige Wharram are lifelong Iowans. They were raised and lived a majority of their lives in Buchanan County. But as they looked to move off the family’s Century Farm, the couple decided on Waverly as their new home, drawn to the community by its vibrant opportunities while retaining a small-town feel. Both became immediately involved in the community through participation on local boards, playing in the municipal band, and other service-oriented activities.

Shortly after their move, their son, who lived with special needs, passed away, reinforcing their appreciation for the kindness of the community. During this time, Bob and Paige began conversations about their estate and connected with the Bremer County Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, to plan their legacy.

The couple had already decided to take a philanthropic approach to their planning that would allocate their resources toward charitable endeavors rather than individual inheritances. They are particularly passionate about supporting causes that benefit everyone in the community, such as conservation efforts, libraries, recreation trails, and cultural institutions.

Last year, they also established a donor-advised fund through the Bremer County Community Foundation. “There are tax advantages to it, but beyond that, there’s a chance to start directing funds to the things that are important to us now – the environment, literacy, and the fine arts,” said Bob.

Through their estate planning and donor-advised fund, the Wharrams aim to leave a lasting impact on the community they have grown to love, as well as where they were raised. “We’re childless. It’s a way to extend the legacy,” said Bob. Paige added, “And to honor them in different ways.” Bob replied, “Yes, absolutely, it’s a way to honor our sons.”